11 Cosy Old-Fashioned Hobbies to Try This Winter

As the air turns crisp and the winter season sets in, it presents an opportunity to indulge in hobbies that provide warmth and comfort while aligning with a simpler, more fulfilling way of life. These hobbies are an extension of our love for our homes and families, much like the art of homemaking.

Whether it’s sewing pot holders, baking bread, or enjoying a hot cup of cocoa, these winter hobbies are not only delightful but also rewarding. With the right activities, you can make the most of the winter season by embracing the joys of a simpler lifestyle.

cosy old fashioned cottage in winter

Let’s explore 11 cosy, old-fashioned winter hobbies that will bring warmth and contentment to your life.

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1. Knitting and Crocheting

Winter is a season that brings with it a unique charm and a desire to indulge in cosy activities. Knitting and crocheting are quintessential winter hobbies that can help you create warm and comfortable scarves, hats, or blankets and make the most of the colder months.

old fashioned home with knitting supplies

These crafts not only result in beautiful, functional items but also have a deeply calming and meditative effect. The rhythmic clicking of needles or hooks is known to reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood. Picture this – you’re cosied up by the fireplace, admiring the warm glow and working your magic with your fingers. But it’s not just about crafting a garment. It’s an opportunity to weave some peace into your daily routine. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

The sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a project can be incredibly satisfying, especially when we are all looking for ways to disconnect and find some peace amidst the chaos.

Getting Started:

  • Learn the Basics: Start with simple patterns and gradually advance to more complex designs.
  • Community Learning: Join local knitting groups or online communities for support and inspiration.

2. Baking from Scratch

Winter is the perfect time to indulge in baking homemade treats, like warm bread rolls, apple crumble, or scrumptious cookies. There is something incredibly satisfying about creating something from scratch.

The aroma of freshly baked goods filling the home is not only delightful but also brings back fond memories of childhood. The gentle hum of the mixer, the feel of the dough between your fingers, and the sight of the golden-brown crust coming out of the oven all contribute to the sense of joy that comes with baking.

baking fresh cookies in cozy cottage kitchen

Baking provides a fantastic opportunity to share with loved ones and spread the warmth and happiness that comes with homemade treats.

Tips for Beginners:

  • Simple Recipes: Begin with easy recipes and gradually try more challenging ones.
  • Practise: Keep practising and being kind to yourself. You only improve with practice – the more you cook and bake, the better you become.

3. Indoor Gardening

Don’t let the cold winter weather keep you from enjoying your love for gardening. There are several indoor gardening options available that will help you bring nature inside your home during the dull winter months.

You can start with growing herbs or houseplants, which will not only add a touch of greenery to your living space but also purify indoor air. My favourite house plants are Peace Lilies and Monsteras.

You can even start seeds indoors for a head start on your spring vegetable garden. Indoor gardening is a fulfilling hobby that provides you with immense joy and satisfaction, especially in the winter when the outdoors can seem bleak and barren.

How to Start:

  • Choose the Right Plants: Choose indoor-friendly plants like herbs, succulents, or peace lilies. If you’re planning an outdoor garden, check your growing zone for what seeds to start for Spring.
  • Learn About Care: Research the specific needs of each plant to ensure their health and growth.

4. Reading and Journaling

There’s something inherently cosy about curling up with a good book or journaling with a candle or a soft lamp. Reading allows us to travel to different worlds without leaving the comfort of our homes, while journaling offers a reflective activity that can be especially rewarding during the winter months.

How to Start:

  • Set a Reading Goal: Challenge yourself with a winter reading list. You can use an app like Goodreads to track your reading progress.
  • Reflective Journaling: Use your journal to reflect on your day, jot down gratitude, or plan future projects.

5. Crafting DIY Decorations

Winter is the perfect time to craft DIY decorations, whether for the holidays or just to add a touch of cosiness to your home. You can try wreath-making, dried orange garlands and creating homemade candles. Creating a simmer pot is a fun project to fill your home with a delightful scent.

How to Start:

  • Seasonal Themes: Use winter themes and colours as inspiration.
  • Recycle and Upcycle: Incorporate materials you already have at home. Consider visiting a thrift store for affordable supplies. This can be a great way to save money and find what you need.

6. Cooking Heart Warming Meals

Winter is the perfect time to indulge in the joy of cooking. Like baking, cooking nourishing, comforting meals can be a delightful hobby. Nothing quite like the warmth and comfort of a hot bowl of pumpkin soup, slow cooker beef stew, or a simple crustless quiche in the chilly weather. Preparing these dishes can be therapeutic and enjoyable as you chop, sauté, and simmer your way to a delicious result. By using nourishing ingredients, you can save money and provide your family with healthy food.

Beginner’s Tips:

  • Meal Planning: Plan your meals weekly to incorporate a variety of dishes. Take a look at my grocery-saving guide with 12 easy tips and a free meal planner!
  • Cook Together: Involve family members in the cooking process.

7. Photography

Winter is a beautiful season, especially for photography lovers. The snow-covered landscapes look like a wonderland, creating a perfect opportunity to capture stunning photos. The contrast between the white snow and the trees without leaves can be mesmerising. So, if you enjoy taking photographs, you should definitely explore winter landscapes as your subject.

How to Get Started:

  • Learn the Basics: Understand the basics of photography and how to use your camera or phone.
  • Explore Your Surroundings: Take regular walks to capture the winter beauty around you.

8. Sewing & Quilting

Sewing and quilting are wonderful forms of art that allow us to express our creativity while making beautiful and useful things. Winter is a great time to start a new sewing or quilting project, whether you want to make cosy clothes or a warm, snuggly quilt. The sound of the sewing machine and the feel of the fabric are very relaxing and can bring a lot of joy.

Learning the basics of sewing can help you save money and allow you to mend what you already have, like clothes, aprons, sheets, etc.

old fashioned sewing room

Getting Started:

  • Choose Simple Projects: Begin with easy sewing patterns like pot holders, pillowcases, placemats or aprons.
  • Resource Gathering: Collect scraps of fabric or use old bed sheets. Look on Facebook marketplace or at local thrift stores for a secondhand sewing machine.

9. Soap Making

Creating your own soap can be a really enjoyable and useful hobby. When you make your own soap, you can choose the ingredients yourself, which is great if you have sensitive skin or prefer natural products. It’s also a very creative process that involves mixing, pouring, and setting the soap. And best of all, you can even give your homemade soap as a special gift to your loved ones!

How to Begin:

  • Learn the Basics: Understand the basic methods like melt and pour or cold process.
  • Experiment with Scents and Colours: Use essential oils and natural colourants to make your soaps unique and safe.

10. Candle Making

Making candles by yourself can be a wonderful experience, especially during winter. The warmth and light from candles that you have crafted yourself can add a special ambience to long and dark evenings. You can try using different types of waxes, fragrances, and containers to create candles that not only brighten up your home but also match your personal taste; plus, they can be safer for you!

cosy old fashioned living room with homemade candles

Getting Started:

  • Safety First: Understand the safety aspects of candle making.
  • Choose Your Materials: Decide on the type of wax and wicks. Soy wax is a great option for beginners.

11. Preserving & Canning

Preserving and canning are great ways to capture the taste of seasonal produce. It’s a fun and rewarding hobby that allows you to make your own homemade goodies while connecting with tradition that’s been passed down through generations. You can make your own jams and jellies and even pickle your own veggies.

Steps to Start:

  • Understand the Basics: Learn about the different methods of preserving, like water bath canning and pressure canning.
  • Start with Simple Recipes: Begin with easy recipes like strawberry jam or cucumber pickles.

In conclusion, these 11 cosy, old-fashioned hobbies provide an ideal way to enjoy the winter season. They allow us to embrace a simpler lifestyle, find joy in the small things, and create a warm and comforting atmosphere in our homes. Remember, the essence of these hobbies is not in seeking perfection but in the joy they bring into our lives.

So choose a hobby that speaks to your heart. Whether crafting a handmade quilt, preserving summer’s bounty, or capturing the beauty of a snowy landscape through your lens, these activities offer a delightful retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. They remind us of the serenity and fulfilment found in the art of homemaking and the pleasures of a life well-lived. Embrace these hobbies to nurture your soul, connect with loved ones, and savour the unique charms of the winter season.

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